WATERLOO, ON, July 11 ( - The Catholic Women’s League, Ontario Provincial Convention, which is underway in Waterloo, voted yesterday to support the pro-abortion World March of Women 2000 - after refusing to allow the official representative of their Spiritual Advisor to speak. During the pre-convention meeting Sunday, the Ontario executive discussed how the March of Women issue would be handled, even though the March was not on the official agenda for the convention.

Bishop Nicolas De Angelis, auxiliary bishop of Toronto, and the Spiritual Advisor to the Ontario CWL was in hospital and unable to attend the meeting. Bishop De Angelis spoke to LifeSite today confirming that he had sent Fr. Nino Cavoto to represent him at the meeting. Fr. Nino was, however, rejected by the CWL Ontario executive and refused the opportunity to speak. Fr. Nino was deeply troubled at the disrespectful treatment he received. The executive said they had selected their own replacement for Bishop De Angelis.

On Monday, Annelise Steden made a motion that the CWL disassociate from the March. Ontario CWL President Betty Anne Brown cut off debate after fourteen speakers despite the desire of many other members to speak to the issue. In her final remarks before the vote, Brown told those who were thinking about voting against the March that such opposition amounted to “disassociat[ing] ourselves from the care of the poor and women.” The motion to disassociate from the March was defeated 71 to 43 with 6 abstentions.

Fr. John Lemaire of Liskeard Ontario, one of the priests in attendance, told LifeSite that the vote did not reflect the grass-roots membership of the CWL. He noted that there was extreme pressure on local presidents to support the march. He also pointed out that Karen Lawless, Toronto president of the CWL, voted to support the march even though 68 per cent of the Toronto CWL voted to follow the advice of Cardinal Aloyisius Ambrozic of Toronto and disassociate from it.

See LifeSite’s march of Women page at  (Page currently unavailable)

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